Giuseppe Quintarelli, Legend of the Veneto

Giuseppe Quintarelli, Legend of the Veneto

© Kermit Lynch

© Kermit Lynch

The Giuseppe Quintarelli winery, set deep into the hills of the Veneto region, appears unassuming from the outside. Yet, this modest exterior hides one of the Italy’s finest wine producers. Few Italian wine producers are as renowned as Giuseppe Quintarelli. Born on his family’s estate, his impressive career spanned six decades. The Quintarelli estate uses traditional methods established by Giuseppe, which he in turn learned from his father and grandfather. These techniques emphasize deliberate grape selection, careful viticulture methods, and lengthy aging in large oak barrels. Giuseppe passed away in 2012, and the estate is now run by his oldest daughter Fiorenza alongside her husband Giampaolo Grigoli. The beautiful handwritten label on each bottle hints at the care taken with what’s inside: these are truly artisanal wines.

All Amarone are vinified using a unique process called appassimento: the grapes are left to dry on straw mats before being crushed and fermented. This results in a more concentrated, powerful wine. In the hands of an inexperienced winemaker, this can result in over-extracted, unbalanced wines. The Quintarelli estate’s wines, however, are focused, thoughtful, and carefully created to retain balance and freshness. The limestone and basalt soils on which the 30-year-old vines sit give heft and depth to the finished wines. The Corvina, Corvinon, and Rondinella grapes make up the majority of the vines on the estate’s 27 acres of vineyards. The wines of Giuseppe Quintarelli demonstrate how patience, skill, and tradition can create timeless wines of the highest quality.

The Wines of the Giuseppe Quintarelli

  • Rosso Ca’ del Merlo 2004
  • Rosso Ca’ del Merlo 2005
  • Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2003
  • Recioto della Valpolicella Classico 2001
  • Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2004

Guiseppe Quintarelli : Rosso Ca' del Merlo 200492 Points, Wine Advocate.

“The 2004 Ca’ del Merlo is slightly less generous than the expressive 2003. Make no mistake: Quintarelli’s trademark elegance is on full display. This vintage delivers more in the mouth with a fuller, more generous mouthfeel and more firmness on the finish. Crushed mineral and forest berry is backed by a beautiful touch of acidity and integrated cherry. Drink 2014-2022.”

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Guiseppe Quintarelli : Rosso Ca' del Merlo 2005C
a’ del Merlo, meaning “house of the blackbird,” is a single-vineyard Valpolicella dominated by the Corvina grape. The 2005 vintage was aged in large oak casks for more than eight years before bottling. Mineral notes combine with aromas of dried roses, spice, and tobacco, with a slight smokey edge.

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Guiseppe Quintarelli : Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 200394 Points, Wine Advocate.

“The 2003 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico is a wine that aptly honors the legacy of its maker. The vintage was super hot, but careful cluster selection before appassimento means you never feel that extra warmth. In fact, this wine is exceptionally balanced and polished. It lasts many long minutes thanks to enduring notes of polished stone, candied berry, balsam spice and medicinal herb. They enlighten the palate like the golden streak of a comet on a midnight sky. Drink 2014-2028.”

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Guiseppe Quintarelli : Recioto della Valpolicella Classico 200195Points, Antonio Galloni.

“The 2001 Recioto della Valpolicella Classico is one of the more vintages of the Recioto, although in subsequent tastings the wine has begun to blossom more fully. Silky, layered and exceptionally polished on the palate, the 2001 flows with the essence of dark cherry, plum, licorice, dried flowers, savory herbs, menthol and spices. This is a relatively approachable vintage for the Recioto, with less explosiveness and lower residual sugar than some previous editions, but tons of balance and pure harmony. Simply put, there is nothing like a Quintarelli Recioto.”

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Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 200496Points, Antonio Galloni. 

“The 2004 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico is insanely beautiful. A dark, mysterious beauty, the 2004 hits the palate with masses of black fruit, tobacco, smoke, licorice and incense. The 2004 is constantly changing in the glass, as it reveals layer after layer of flavor and pure nuance. Readers will have to be patient with the 2004, but it is spectacular. I tasted the 2004 just after bottling, and will not be surprised if it is even better with more time in bottle. The huge, voluptuous finish bodes well for the future. Readers who can find the 2004 should not hesitate. This is another magical 2004 from Quintarelli.”

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